This advice for writing a stand-out blog flies in the face of most of what we’ve been told for ages. And I’m frankly unsure of who we’ve been listening to, but I know that I always listen to Sister Diane over at CraftyPod, so when I came across this article and it confirmed all my own every-growing gut sureties about the way that blogging has changed in the last 7 or 8 years, I clapped. (I love it when smart people agree with me. Sure.)
One of the tried and true rules of blogging has been to post regularly: and lots.
But there’s a real problem there . . .
I think we can tell when somebody’s posted because they’re on a schedule for blog posts.
And we can tell, too, when somebody says something that you can tell they really want to tell us, show us, point us over to. It’s hard to fake a sincere desire to share.
I recently went just short of a month without posting . . partly because I was feeling quiet and didn’t have a lot to talk about–so now then I’m back to wanting to post, I am. (Click here for “Barbie Is Finally Un-Naked, And She’s Evicted Her Neighbors“)
Really good blogs seem to be missing that sort of fake “I had to post, so I did” sort of content. And so I think if we want to write a good blog, we should post only when we have something to say.
Now you get to disagree with me . . .
1. But I have a store, and my customers want to hear from me!
I get it. And let’s be clear here: I haven’t suggested not posting–I’ve just suggested not pretending like you want to. So how about trying to post something that you really do want to say, rather than something that you think your readers expect you to say? What about posting differently–giving us photo essays if it’s pictures that are on your mind . . . or point us to a list of really good articles you’ve read lately (if you’ve really read them). . . or telling us some truth about your Making process. We love to know what’s happening behind the scenes! (Didn’t you always want to go underground at Disneyland?)
Don’t fake your posts. Stop and ask yourself what it is you actually have to say, and then give us that.
2. But I’m trying to build readership, and my readers need to know that I’m totally committed and I will post even if I have malaria and three dentist appointments in a row!
I get it. And I going to tell you something here that will be tough to swallow: I’m not sure “building readership” works the way we’ve traditionally (well, in the last 7 or 8 blogging years) thought it did. Or at least, I don’t think it works the same as it did.
Back in the day when there were fewer of us, I think it made sense to pound our fingers on the keyboard even when we were fevered and sipping soup, because it was a sort of game of ruthless persistence then. Almost like, we were waiting to see who would be left standing.
But there are so many of us now–so many bloggers with so many great things to say and share–that readership just isn’t working the same way. According to Sister Diane, our readers aren’t checking our every post. They’re more likely to google what they want and land over on our turf accidentally than they are to loyally suck in every word we offer up. (Super Bloggers her and her notwithstanding.)
3. I’m totally depressed now.
Oh shoot. Don’t be. Here’s the thing: blogs are beautiful for using to tell your truth, to share your story, to show the pictures you’re meant to show. So let them be what they are–little windows into our making lives, our parenting lives, our eating lives. Let them be small, bright shots of well-written post and pictures that match the words.
Even better would be if they were pictures that showed us sometimes some things that went wrong, rather than just all that stuff that it seems like everybody’s trying to make us believe is always going right . . . but we’ll save those thoughts for the next post.